5 Tips for Sharing the Road With Semi-Trucks
When you operate a vehicle, chances are you will share the road with a semi-truck, particularly if you have to drive on the highways or Interstate. When you do share the roadway with larger trucks, there are various steps that you can take to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
1. Watch For Larger Trucks
Even though this may seem like an obvious step, it goes more in-depth. Yes, watch out for larger trucks on the roadway, but also take note of the cargo of the truck, the driver’s behavior, as well as all turn signals the driver uses.
If the truck is an exposed bed vehicle, be mindful of the cargo and stay well back from the vehicle just in case anything comes loose. Additionally, if you notice the driver weaving through lanes, failing to use turn signals, or driving too fast, stay away from the vehicle, as the driver could be fatigued or inebriated. Finally, if a driver activates a turn signal, give them space to go where they need to go.
2. Give Trucks Plenty of Room
vehicle drivers should avoid getting too close to large commercial trucks if they are able to do so on the roadway. This includes on highways as well as on regular roadways. Larger trucks need more space when they do just about anything, including changing lanes or making a turn. When larger trucks have to turn to the right or left, vehicles need to give them space to do so and avoid staying right alongside. Doing so could prevent the truck from turning or result in other cars getting sideswiped or even squashed.
3. Stay Away From Blind Spots
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicates that trucks have very large blind spots along every side of the vehicle. These blind spots include along the right and left side of the truck as well as right in front of the vehicle and behind the vehicle. These are areas where the truck driver will not be able to see other vehicles, even using their mirrors. We strongly encourage all drivers to avoid putting their vehicles inside of a large truck’s blind spot at all times period if you have to pass a truck, you will have to be in the blind spot for a moment, but do not dwell there.
4. Follow Traffic Laws
Drivers need to follow all traffic laws when they are operating on the roadway, regardless of whether or not there are large trucks in the vicinity. Following traffic laws will help ensure the safety of every party involved. This includes operating at or below the speed limit, driving at a speed limit appropriate for road and weather conditions, using all traffic signals, and not operating while distracted or impaired.
5. Pass Quickly
When drivers need to pass a truck on the roadway, they should do so as quickly as possible. However, this does not mean passing a truck recklessly. When a driver needs to pass a truck, they should do so on the left side of the vehicle, they should activate their turn signal, and they should pass the vehicle as quickly as they can but also while remaining at a safe speed. Drivers should not go back into the lane directly in front of the truck but give a decent amount of space to make sure that they are out of the truck driver’s blind spot before changing lanes again.